Business

We want more than jobs - study

A new study says Australians want a healthy, sustainable environment.
A new study says Australians want a healthy, sustainable environment. Peter Dejong

A NEW report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has looked into what Aussies want out of society, environment, economy and governance, and the results are illuminating.

The report has shown that while Australians want things such as effective, trustful, participative governance with informed public debate, and a sustainable, resilient and internationally engaging economy that provides opportunities, jobs, prosperity and fair outcomes, they also want more.

The report goes on to say that Australians aspired to have a healthy and sustainable environment, with people working together to protect it, and that our nation aspires to be a society that values and cares for the wellbeing of all its members - good health, better living conditions and improved quality of life for all.

Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Queensland, David Carter, said these results aren't particularly mind blowing.

"What strikes me is how difficult it is to have all those things at once. But I suppose, who wouldn't want them? It's hard not to sign up to any of those values, really," he said.

"It's hard to know what significance to give the report since the answers are all positive ones."

The problem he can see is the reality of achieving all these things at once.

"How do you achieve economic aims while achieving environmental aims?"

In terms of changes over the past 50 years, he said, the big difference in the aspirations of Australians pertained to the environment.

"The others would have stayed quite the same," he said.

"Now we have a much better understanding that the quality of our water, climate change, they affect all the other things - they affect health, they affect economic wellbeing.

That's the single most important change.

"The environmental concerns, a few years ago that was really top of the agenda, around the time of the Rudd government gaining power."

But the environmental issue was dropping down the list of importance.

Topics:  australian bureau of statistics, jobs, jobs news


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